"" The girl who makes things: 5 things that improved my sewing

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

5 things that improved my sewing

I love sewing. I really do. But I have to confess, I ain't no expert. I'm almost entirely self taught and often take short cuts with my sewing projects. Perfectionism is not my personal quality. However, there are certain techniques I always use when I sew. Techniques that at first seemed time consuming and irrelevant, but now seem absolutely essential.  I'd like to share some of these things with you, as they really did change my sewing:


1. Understitching
Ever have problems with pressing the neckline yoke? Can't get it to stay flat? Understitching solves this problem. I know right, why bother with another line of stitching that no one is ever going to see? No, seriously understitching is well worth the extra effort. Trust me. It makes pressing an absolute breeze. A great tutorial is here.



2. Transfer paper
Back in the day (school day) I was taught to transfer pattern markings with the old double thread technique. How inaccurate. These days I use transfer paper and I get much more detailed markings.



3. Quality interfacing
Splash the cash. Unless you want the garment you've been working on for hours to feel like cardboard, buy quality interfacing. You can buy some for every kind of fabric; silk, jersey, cotton... It's worth it.



4. Diagonal corner stitching
I never even knew this was a thing until I went to a sewing workshop last year. "Do a couple of stitches diagonally across the corner" says the teacher. "How is that ever going to work?" thinks me. Yet when it comes to turning out the corner, you get a much cleaner finish. I've used this technique on shirt collars and the results are so much better. Don't ask me how it works, just know it does.



5. Curved hem stitching
How does one press the hem of a curved edge? This is a question I asked myself again and again until I saw this tutorial from By Hand London. Like a revelation I realised that it was easy to press an accurate curved hem, you just need to sew a line of stitching along the edge and use it as a guide when pressing. Circle skirts have never phased me again!



So there we are. Five things. I could go on, but I wouldn't want to bore you. Besides, there's a world of sewing blogs out there with more info than you could ever need. But it's good to let you know about the things that worked for me. So how about you? What things changed your sewing?

13 comments:

  1. That tip for curved hems...awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I need to try the diagonal corner stitching trick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely do! It's a small but effective little trick

      Delete
    2. I don't understand the diagonal corner stitch.... I'll have to look it up! I'm starting my first sewing class soon, after over 10 years of self taught sewing.... so totally looking for these kind of tips!

      Delete
  3. I love understitching - always have, always will. It's so satisfying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of my favourite parts of sewing too

      Delete
  4. Ooo, I haven't heard of the diagonal corner thing before! I'll have to give that a go. Thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Never heard of the diagonal stitching on the corner before! I will try that next :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wooo thanks for the tip on hemming curves! I've always stunk royally at that

    ReplyDelete